Chennai: Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to declare the ‘unprecedented, catastrophic and cataclysmic floods’ in Tamil Nadu as a national calamity and suggested a special set of measures that need to be implemented to help families affected by the floods restart their lives at the earliest.
She also requested the PM to direct the Union Ministry of Finance to immediately formulate a liberal scheme on the basis of the suggestions made by her and issue necessary guidelines.
Quick disposal of insurance claims for vehicles, rescheduling of loans of the affected families, extending soft loans for purchasing vehicles and other things, a personal loan of Rs 5 lakh to buy essential domestic durable assets and exemption of excise duty for white goods and kitchen equipment in the flood-affected districts were among the measures sought by the Chief Minister in her letter to the PM.
Many households had lost all their personal belongings, including vehicles, which were of high value and could not be adequately compensated through the existing structure of relief payments, she pointed out.
The Chief Minister said the insurance companies could be directed to take up survey and settlement of claims for personal vehicles etc., on a campaign mode following a summary procedure and with liberal application of norms, so that such households could receive insurance payments early to enable them restart normal life. “It would be desirable if this procedure is outlined at the earliest and the process of settlement of claims completed within a week or 10 days,” she added.
Observing that many of these households would have financed purchase of their homes, vehicles and other household items by availing bank loans, she said as a special measure, the banks could be directed to provide a limited moratorium on repayment, as well as rescheduling of the loans, which would lower the EMI payments and offer relief to the flood-affected households.
Jayalalithaa further said many families had lost their personal vehicles and almost all their durable domestic assets including furniture, refrigerators, television sets, washing machines and kitchen equipment.
“Such families have suffered extensive losses, which would be beyond their capacity to bear. They would find it extremely difficult to immediately purchase such assets and restart their normal lives. As a special case, all such flood-affected families may be liberally extended soft loans by banks for purchase of vehicles, educational loans to continue to studies of children and personal loans up to Rs 5 lakh to finance purchase of essential domestic durable assets. Many of these households would also be Jan Dhan account holders, and the limits on the total eligible loan limit may be appropriately relaxed for such account holders,” she added.
The Chief Minister promised that the State government would provide special certification to all such families, based on which banks could be asked to expeditiously sanction the loans as per their norms.
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